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Lab of Misfits

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Born out of our research on perception, we have created a conceptual framework for a new culture of learning, which is based on an openness to uncertainty and discovery. Through the My School programme we seek to influence not just the way schools educate, but even the very architecture and design of schools.

Conceptual framework

Our framework of ‘Seeing Myself See’ recognises the importance of perception, of experience and imagination in shaping who we are as an individual – and also has the capacity to foster a different kind of learning: ‘this is how you see it now, but with a bit of courage it is possible for you to see it differently’.

By supporting and guiding children in the idea that the same object can be perceived differently, children can be lead away from the admittedly more comfortable black and white view of the world, to the more challenging, but a more enlightening realisation of the greys in between. The learner can be shown in real terms that one’s perceived truths are not necessarily the reality, but one reality among others.

The 5 ‘C’s

We have distilled the idea of ‘Seeing Myself See’ in the context of education into five principles, which are the basis of our My School programme and which we call the 5 C’s: they are Compassion, Community, Choice, Creativity and Courage. These principles provide the intertwined threads of a tapestry, the actual colours and textures of which must be woven by the individual school.

We argue that these principles can be achieved only if they become what we call the actual ‘ecology of education’. They are as much about teaching as learning, since teaching compassionately teaches compassion; teaching creatively teaches creativity; by guiding children rather than instructing them, they learn freedom and responsibility to choose; and situating one’s students in the context of a community enables the learner to become a unique part of a whole.

Though developed for primary schools, the programme is applicable to all forms of learning nationally and internationally.

To download the My School Principles in full, click here

What we offer

Consultancy Lab of Misfits can work with head teachers to understand the benefits of the My School programme and how it can be applied to their school.

Workshops On a more practical level, schools can take part in Lab of Misfits workshops either at their school or at the lab in the Science Museum.

Resources We are developing downloadable resources, including curriculum materials, aimed at assisting schools to introduce changes to the culture of learning at their school, without the direct input of Lab of Misfits.

See also

i,scientist – born out of the My School programme, the i,scientist programme seeks to engage schoolchildren with science in a unique way, offering them the opportunity to do real research and, in the process, learn something about themselves.